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  1. #1
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    Shadow Guide V2 - 23L

    Thanks to TB, I received my SGV2 23L last night. I haven't had a lot of time (or daylight for photos) to test pack it yet but I'm very happy so far.

    Generally my packing style is to use cubes/pouches/stuff sacks, so I'm good with minimal interior organization. The Synapse 19/Synik 22 work for me partly because I leave them partially packed with EDC stuff in the pockets.

    My initial thought is that I will use this backpack similarly to how I use the Smart Alec: trips that would normally last a week or less and that might involve carrying my stuff around for a while (ie, like walking around a city before heading out to an airport).
    For trips when I'll be in the same place every night, I usually like my A30 since it's so easy to live out of. The Smart Alec and SGV2 23L are a bit less convenient to live out of but feel more comfortable & compact to carry.

    @Cristina posted a great review that shows some different cube options and a comparison to her 33L review, so I won't duplicate her awesome work
    https://forums.tombihn.com/photos-vi...tml#post194891


    My 13" 2019 Macbook Air fits with room to spare in the laptop compartment. I like how subtle the compartment is - if you don't use it you don't even notice that it or the zipper are there. In my Smart Alec I would just load my laptop against the back wall (in a neoprene case) but this integrated compartment is nice.
    I also decided to see if my larger work laptop (HP Elitebook) would fit and it does.

    Here they are in the compartment at the same time. It's a snug fit, but they both actually fit in there at once.
    I doubt I'd every do that, but it gives you an idea of the space.

    Shadow Guide V2 - 23L-pxl_20201201_220739779-jpeg


    For this test pack, I just had the Macbook Air loaded.


    Here's everything else I put in the bag.

    Shadow Guide V2 - 23L-pxl_20201201_224422726-jpeg

    I used three A30 laundry cubes since they are my favorite cubes and fit my stuff well. They were not packed jammed full since that's not how I use them.

    A30 LC - 8 underwear/bra
    A30 LC - 3 shirts
    A30 LC - 4prs wool socks & shorts/t-shirt
    pair of jeans
    Dawn SSC - toiletries incld electric toothbrush
    Dawn clear 3DOC for 'wet' toiletries and small stuff
    Fjord SSC - electronics
    Island Everyday Cubelet - my mobile office with stamps, checkbooks, pens/pencils, notebook, etc.

    I laid the jeans folded flat in the bottom, then the A30 LCs, followed by the SSCs, 3DOC & EC

    The bag isn't jammed full and I did put the laptop into the back compartment first since that just seems easier to me.
    This test pack was done quickly so I haven't played with all the options. I'll definitely see what I need to do differently to also put a pair of shoes or sandals in.

    I didn't end up putting anything in the two small pockets on the underside of the top lid pocket. I'd probably put a Ghost Whale pouch with small stuff in there...
    One thing I like about the Smart Alec and Synapse 19 is the water bottle pockets - so for this test I put a 16oz Nalgene bottle and a random small snack container in the top lid pocket (with lots of room to spare).



    There's a fully packed Brain Bag that I use for my Bug Out Bag that lives near my door - so here's a quick side by side visual.

    Something I particularly want to point out is that the listed overall height of this bag must include the top lid pocket.

    If you're someone short like me who gets annoyed if a pack sits just wrong against their back or butt, you'll be happy to know that the length from the the top of the shoulder straps to the bottom is around 16" so it's more like the Synapse 19/Synik 22/Luminary 15 in that vertical dimension.
    You can see in the photo that the 18.1" high BB sits a bit higher at the top of the straps. For my comfort, I like my packs to be below 20" in that strap to base vertical dimension.
    Based on this, I now actually want to try out the larger SGV2 33L to see how that feels since the strap to base vertical must be below 20".
    @Cristina or whomever gets a 33L, please measure that if/when you have a moment!

    Shadow Guide V2 - 23L-pxl_20201201_224211851-jpeg


    Overall I really like this pack, even more than I was expecting too. I think the Ursa/Black colour blocking is handsome and it feels slim and unobtrusive on my back. The Edgeless straps are comfy and the minimal back frame feels good.
    I'm definitely going to try it as a day pack. I'll see how the new style padded back area is once I've had a chance to wear it out somewhere for several hours.
    Last edited by G42; 12-01-2020 at 07:37 PM.
    I like all the blues and greys...and all the happy citrus colours too! My search unicorn is the Sapphire Dyneema original Small Shop Bag...

  2. #2
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    Loved reading your first impressions, @G42

    I get about 18Ē in length for the SG33 compared to about 16Ē for the SG23.

    I canít wait to find out what you think as you use the SG 23 and take it out on day trips. I never thought this would be the case for a top-loading black hole bag, but I really love it. And the 23 in particular hits a real sweet spot. It isnít too tall on me and doesnít feel like a baby Rhino on my back (credit to another forum member for that image describing a full A45). And yet it holds a ton. It works as a day bag and also a travel bag. A sports bag and yet a laptop bag. Itís a chameleon! I used it for groceries today (with a Shop Bag for the bananas and other delicates). I love it.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cristina View Post
    I get about 18” in length for the SG33 compared to about 16” for the SG23.
    ahhhhhh man, now you've gone and done it! I'll have to go get a SG33 now...and it will have to be in all black since my SG23 is in Ursa - I think that will be only my second black bag. My Smart Alec is black halcyon.
    I only have one back and yet I seem to have an awful lot of backpacks....
    I like all the blues and greys...and all the happy citrus colours too! My search unicorn is the Sapphire Dyneema original Small Shop Bag...

  4. #4
    Forum Member b1gsky's Avatar
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    Thumbs up for the SG23 feeling slim and unobtrusive, I like that about a bag. Can’t wait to receive mine! And good to hear that the bag is even shorter than the numbers suggested, I was afraid the 23l might still be too long for me to be really comfortable.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by G42 View Post
    If you're someone short like me who gets annoyed if a pack sits just wrong against their back or butt, you'll be happy to know that the length from the the top of the shoulder straps to the bottom is around 16" so it's more like the Synapse 19/Synik 22/Luminary 15 in that vertical dimension.
    Thank you for posting these measurements. My first thought when I saw the SG23 is that it would be a good travel bag but probably too long for me. But now that I know the shoulder straps are actually similar to my very comfy Synik22 I'm going to try to get one the next time it's released.

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